Would you say something?

by Lesley on March 6, 2012 · 5 comments

in make-you-think,uncategorized

I am reminded this week that I live in a broken world.

It is not just one story…it is many…all at the same time.

Young girls selling their bodies just blocks away from my house.

People with very sick children.

People I never thought would ever do THAT but they did.

Three people who have left someone they once said they loved.

Things too awful to really speak about.

In the middle of wrestling with all these things, I witnessed another broken relationship in front of my very eyes.

I exited the elevator at Kaiser yesterday following a young handicapped girl. She looked about seven. She was in a motorized wheelchair and followed an older woman who was carrying a newborn towards the receptionist station. When the older woman veered a little to the left, the young girl followed in her chair. The older woman stopped, then snapped, “How many times do I have to tell you to watch where you’re going and not cut people off? Apologize to the lady behind you.”

I am the lady behind her. (Since when am I a lady?! Ugh. I’m 30. Forgot!)

“Sorry,” she says softly. I try to tell her she didn’t cut me off, because she didn’t. Before I can do so, the older woman squawks again, “Look her in the eye when you apologize Shelby!”

Shelby is so handicapped that she appears to have a hard time even craning her neck my direction.

I am quiet. Stunned. I moved to the side of the hallway to give them their space.

“Go ahead of us, please,” says the woman. “Shelby cut you off, so you should go ahead of us.”

I assured both of them I was fine, there was not a need to apologize but I found myself stammering and flustered.

I felt like I should have blasted the mom; but she was a stranger. I felt like I should have been more comforting to Shelby; but she wasn’t my child. I felt a thousand thoughts in a brief few seconds, until I pulled out Anna’s Kaiser card and said, “We’re here for shots.”

And then I walked away, and prayed, and prayed and prayed that the shame Shelby probably feels daily would not damage her the way it probably will.

We live in a broken world.

What would you do if you witnessed something that society maybe wouldn’t classify as  “verbal abuse” but you believe is damaging? Would you say something? 


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Thank you, Ladies, for such wise/honest/vulnerable insight. I appreciate you!

Amy --- Just A Titch
Amy --- Just A Titch

It is so hard to know what to do, and how far to go. The world is really hard sometimes.


Gosh, that is a tough situation. And a heart wrenching one too. I would have looked that woman straight in the eye and calmly said "she did not cut me off. It's alright." And then I would have looked at that precious little girl and told her that there is nothing to worry about, I would have asked what's her name, and given her a compliment. I would take the opportunity to breath word of life into her because I know it will make difference in the future. This post is a great reminder for me personally to always be ready for situations like this where God can use me to speak life.


I have witnessed situations like this so many times myself. I don't think I have ever said anything, but I always want to. I want to shake people and remind them that whoever they are yelling out is someone they love. Someone who loves them. I want to remind them that they could lose that person in a split second and they wouldn't want this to be the last conversation they ever had. I want to hug the soul on the receiving end and let them know that they are worth life, lived more abundantly. I want to share with them the promises that have been shared with me my entire life. My heart breaks when I see the strong attacking the weak, the defenseless.

Janice Zoradi
Janice Zoradi

I was leaving my office in the evening and witnessed a college-age guy berating his girlfriend on the sidewalk. (It was the, "Who do you think you are to say that to me?" kind of berating.) I stood about 6 feet away and listened to him, because I figured if he was going to verbally abuse his girlfriend in public he probably didn't care if anyone heard him. He turned to me and said, "We're fine" and I said, "You don't look fine." Then I said to the girlfriend, "You don't have to do this," and he told me to mind my own business, and I went over to my car and got in. Then I berated myself all the way home for putting myself in a potentially unsafe situation, in the dark, and how maybe I had made it worse for the girlfriend on top of it. I'm not sure it really was the right thing to do, but I just trusted my gut and did it. Next time you see a mom belittling her child in public I bet you'll know whether to say something or not, and it will be the right move.